The Publicist's Essential Guide To Meeting Brand Ambassadors on Social

Posted by Jennifer Smiga

Ten years ago my answer to the cocktail party question, “What do you do?” was as easy as two letters: PR.

These days that answer is: I help companies in the design and build industry connect with their targets through social media, content marketing, public relations and strategic partnerships (say that after two cocktails). The PR job has changed dramatically in the last decade. The press release, once king of the PR world, has ceded the throne to the much younger, much more persuasive heir, social media and her loyal advisor the brand ambassador.

2016 PR is social PR.


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Topics: social PR, social media, PR

Dear PR Rep, You Are Not a Parasite, Afterall

Posted by Jennifer Smiga


If you’ve been in PR even a short while you know we publicists have a (sometimes well earned) reputation for annoying reporters with incessant pitches of non-news items on behalf of our clients. (We’re adding a new location! The latest version of our software was released!) There are whole slide decks, blogs and memes devoted to how we drive reporters nuts.

You’d think we offered no value to reporters. That we were a pox on their house.

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Topics: media prospecting, PR

How to Pitch Media And Actually Be Heard

Posted by Jennifer Smiga


If you’ve ever witnessed a little kid birthday party you know about being on the wrong end of a person to person ratio. It’s a lot of noise with you begging, “For the love of sprinkles, someone listen to me!” Not pretty, but it’s exactly what’s going on in PR these days and company reps (and owners) are feeling it.

Recent data says that media relations professionals now outnumber reporters by nearly 5 to 1. With numbers like that the only way your company message is heard is if you’ve cultivated relationships with reporters. That way when you have news, there will be someone who can pick you out of the crowd.

Key to your development of relationships with the media is providing reporters, producers and editors with quality, dependable content in a timely manner. Your company blog is your best PR tool. Instead of trying to manufacture relevant company news for a press release, your blog can give you industry related news and thought leadership pieces to share with the media. It’s like a gift for a reporter covering your industry – but only if you make sure it has the nuts and bolts the media are searching for:

  • Statistics and data related to your industry
  • Information on new products, services or ways of doing business
  • Tips and how to’s
  • Human-interest stories that get the adrenaline (or tears flowing)

If you need some help getting your company blog going, click here for a free resource.

If your marketing team (and maybe that’s you also) has got the blog down, you’re ready to start connecting with media. Here are a few ways you can pitch your blog to the media:


1. Don’t push a mass release. Send an engaging personal email.

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Topics: social PR, media prospecting, securing media coverage, PR, Email marketing

PR Reps: How To Turn Your Blog Into Free Press

Posted by Jennifer Smiga

You’ve been told by marketers (and Google) that cranking out blogs can be the way to drive traffic to your site. True.

But did you know blogs are great content for pitching the media? As a PR professional, blogs can be your ultimate resource for sharable, newsworthy pieces that will get your company press and stand out in the industry.

First off, let’s be clear. Blogs are not a collection of press releases. They are your company’s unique and relevant content based on your company’s expertise. It’s the place where you show thought leadership, and offer how-tos and problem solving directly related to your industry.

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Topics: media prospecting, securing media coverage, PR

Your PR Department Is An Untapped Revenue Generator

Posted by Jennifer Smiga
Your publicist's metric for success is relationships, not revenue, right? What if you could tie sales leads, and revenue, to your pr department? It may sound far off, but the modern publicist is doing more than damage control and fielding press calls. She’s a proactive member of the marketing team generating and nurturing leads online. That is if she’s adapted to the digital market.
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Topics: social PR, PR

6 Things Your Small Business Can Do Quickly During a Crisis

Hurricanes. Floods. Data breaches. Employee malevolence. Staff violence. Financial problems. The list of potential crises that can strike small businesses or nonprofits are many, and real. But you don’t have to be left in a panic when disaster hits. Below are six things business owners can do to minimize damage and communicate with important audiences the minute a catastrophe hits, along with a proactive suggestion to be uber prepared for any event.

1. Pin your message to your Facebook wall

Seems too simple, right? Yep, but effective. Pinning your message to the top of your Facebook wall keeps it front and center for all to see. In an emergency situation, people need information and they need it now, so give it to them. Is your business going to be closed? Say that, then pin that. Maybe your location is the only one of its kind open. Say it, pin it.
Proactive approach: Have a comprehensive social media plan in place before crisis hits. Facebook and Twitter can be lifesavers, allowing you to reach your customers and clients quickly and effectively. These channels also let you continually communicate with stakeholders before, during and after an emergency. If your business has a social media crisis communication plan in place, when panic strikes you and your employees will feel organized and ready to put that plan in action.
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Topics: small business, PR